For Quinnipiac, the celebration of its seniors started before the puck dropped...
Bobcats’ defense pounces on Monmouth, Quinnipiac wins by 33
The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team (16-10, 11-5 MAAC) defeated the Monmouth Hawks (6-21, 5-11 MAAC) 83-50 Sunday afternoon during a game in which the Bobcats played 40 minutes of lockdown defense.
“Our last game against Marist motivated us to be better on defense,” center Brittany McQuain said. “When we’re really good on defense, our offense comes after that. It’s hard to be great on offense when your defense isn’t there.”
The Bobcats, who forced 16 turnovers, showed their defensive intensity right from the opening tip. Monmouth was held scoreless for the first 7:18 of the game, and failed to convert from the field in the opening nine minutes. By halftime, Quinnipiac was staked to 30-19 lead, with the Hawks shooting a mere 21.9 percent from the field.
Quinnipiac had 13 players score and six players with at least eight points. The Bobcats were efficient on both sides of the basketball, opening the game on a 9-1 run, which blossomed into a 17-3 early lead. In the second half, the Bobcat offense switched gears and poured it on, dropping nine 3-pointers, including two from guard Jasmine Martin.
“We’re still not satisfied,” said Martin, who finished with 11 points in just 19 minutes. “We still have a long way to go. We just showed what were capable of. We have to bring it every game.”
McQuain finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and two steals, and recorded her eighth double-double of the season in the process. The senior is now averaging just over 12 points and nine rebounds for the year.
“We have to run everything offensively through her,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “She is such a great individual defender. She’s such a great stopper, rebounder, shot blocker. She needs to play every possession like it’s her last possession in order for us to be successful.”
The Bobcats, who are now 9-3 at Lender Court this season, outscored the Hawks 53-31 in the second half, and 49-20 in bench points. Quinnipiac also held a huge advantage in the assist column, posting 20 dimes to Monmouth’s seven.
Fabbri was more than pleased with the result, but she and the players know the defensive energy has to be consistent for the team to keep winning.
“It was nice to see us play as well as we played defensively,” Fabbri said. “We played Monmouth just 10 days ago down at their place and it was a real dogfight. We didn’t break the game open until really late. First half today was a great defensive effort holding them to 19. The second half effort defensively really started us in transition where we were able to force more turnovers and play fast which is us at our best.”
Quinnipiac hits the hardwood again on Thursday night, as it plays a tough road test with Siena College.
“For us going forward for the remainder of the season, it’s really about the effort on the defensive end,” Fabbri said. “This is a veteran team that has been in big spots and won big games and takes pride in shutting teams down.”
Martin added, “The coaches can’t make us play defense, we have to want to play defense. There is no more saying next game or next time, it has to happen now. Its getting close to the end of February and then March, and it comes down to 3 games. If we want to be in that final game, we have to step it up.”
Tip-off at the Alumni Recreation Center in Loudonville is set for 7 p.m.
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